Friday, January 28, 2011

The Second Visit
Our Hertfordshire family arrived late morning, dumped their stuff and whisked us off to the Old Ship Inn at Porlock. Years ago my DIL and I both had an upset tum after a meal there and I was reluctant to go for years, but as usually happens it changed hands and redeemed itself. Then two or three years ago we were dining there with our Sussex family before they left for Australia and MTL had an arterial fibrillation episode. I was so thankful they were there - absolute rocks- and it all ended happily. There was another stand off from the pub but throughout the Hertfordshires have remained staunch fans especially in the summer when they eat al fresco. We had a pleasant meal and caught up on the last few months. I was pleased that #1 son saw an improvement in MTL. In some ways knowing exactly what the problem is makes it easier to deal with.

My Grandson T is doing a year's placement with a fashion firm in London and looked great in casual donkey brown with beautiful shoes which he had bought with a hefty discount and still were jolly expensive. MTL remembered always wearing Church shoes and T said he would too if he could afford them. Good to see # 1 son looking good in a new coat - influenced by his son. My work here is done:)

One of the rooms is dedicated to Laurel and Hardy.

The next day the boys decide they were going to cook roast lamb for us in the evening so we went at lunch time to The Royal Oak at Luxborough - known to us half locals as The Blazing Stump. T about to enter the Inn - who knew that tiny scrap would one day tower over me.

MTL reckons the Blazing Stump is now a gastro pub. It had a lovely glowing welcome but the room we normally use was taken over by 'the shoot' and we were shown into a smart dining room with me stipulating we didn't want a large meal. It was delightful - great wine, rabbit terrine with pear compote and bread to die for. I just kept on eating until it had all gone. Just found space for a creme brulee with mixed berries. Much later the lamb was so flavourful if it had been tied up one would have sucked the string. It was whirlwind of a week-end but we both felt stimulated rather than exhausted at the end of it.
Mind you I can't speak for the guests.
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Queenie said...

The first pub I can ever remember lunching in was the Old Ship Inn at Porlock, during a family holiday on Exmoor. It was such a thrill, and I still remember watching in rapt fascination as a man with a moustache ate buttered corn on the cob very drippily. So glad you've been having fun. There's always room for creme brulee - didn't you know it goes in your pudding tummy? Well-known anatomical fact, I'm surprised at you with your nursing background!

Pat said...

Queenie: I shall look on it more fondly now it has your stamp of approval Try as I might I can't recall Prof.Gaisford mentioning the 'pudding tummy' but I'm going to take your word for it;)

Granny Annie said...

Something happened in my life that caused me to associate the term "al fresco" with nudity. So reading through this post I immediately became side tracked at the thought of you and friends dining "al fresco" and then I recovered to the actual meaning of "outdoors in fresh air" and went on to enjoy the entire post. LOL

Pat said...

Granny Annie: that is something I would not want to inflict on my son and grandson. MTL is quite used to it:)
It's like the French painting 'Picnic surl'herbe.' The men are formally dressed and the women naked.

kenju said...

You go to the most interesting places!! Any place that dedicates a room to Laurel and Hardy is great in my book. I loved them!

I can barely type for sneezing and wiping my nose....hope the crud leaves soon...and I certainly hope what you told your help is true!!

angryparsnip said...

Of course there is always room for pudding especially Creme Brulee my most favorite dessert ever !

My tourist radar is beeping over the picture of The Blazing Stump what a fabulous photo.
I must draw that today...

cheers, parsnip

Scarlet Blue said...

You and Eryl are a dieters nightmare!
Pleased that all your menfolk are looking well and handasome.

Eryl said...

How splendid to have your grandson take over your son's sartorial welfare!

The Blazing Stump is a brilliant nickname, but i need to know why it's called that locally, all number of unpleasant images are floating around in my imagination.

Guyana-Gyal said...

You proud grandma you, I swear, there's no-one like a pleased grandmother. Not even a pleased grandpa :-)

I can't get that image out of my head now Pat, you sucking a tasty string.

P.S. Granny Annie, I like your [former] interpretation of 'al fresco' :-D

Pat said...

Judy: I'm rather hoping that too. What's the origin of the word crud. When you said you had the crud it sounded like something one wouldn't really talk about:) But as we are discovering in our games, there is quite a difference in our respective vocabularies and usage.

Parsnip; ooh I love to inspire art.

Scarlet: but where does Eryl put it I ask myself?

Eryl; MTL hazards a guess that in mediaeval times they had a huge log fire. Alternative names are useful as there are hundreds of Royal Oaks here.

GG:I would only do it in a ladylike fashion with my little finger crooked:)

Maggie said...

So glad that pub was reconstituted and you could eat there. So sorry about the one tooth, but glad he could get the bridge in the same day. Your visitors sound delightful as does the lamb, and hope you found one shirt that would fit the new man.

Pat said...

Maggie: thanks - I got the perfect shirt. It fits and blends with everything and today the nurse said his haemoglobin has come up which is good news.
Now I'll have to smarten myself up to keep up with him:)

Mike and Ann said...

There's nothing like a good family Get-Together!!!!

P.s. I'd back a Queen of Puddings against a creme brulee any day.
Love- Mike and Ann.

Pat said...

Mike and Ann: it's years since I had Queen of Puddings. No-one seems to do them anymore. I think many of us enjoy cremem brulee particularly because it seems light and therefore possibly slimming. Utter rot of course;)

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

It sounds like a wonderful visit---your Grandson sounds like he has found his niche--How GREAT that is, my dear Pat...!

I might never have gone back to that restautant with such a personal are all a lot braver than I am...!